There are so many ways to create content for your online course and so many tools to help you shoot and edit video, record great sound and set up lighting, that it can get overwhelming. Here are some tips to help out!
- Lighting - keep it bright and balanced.
- Audio - use a quality microphone and make sure your audio is clear, crisp, and audible. Remember that 2/3rds of good video is good audio. In fact, if you are going to invest in equipment, buy a quality microphone before a quality camera.
- Video - use high resolution 720p or HD (most modern smartphones and digital cameras can record in 720p). 720p format has a resolution of 1280x720 or an aspect ratio of 16:9 (think widescreen tv). Here are the best export settings to use.
- Framing - have a clean background and frame your objects in easy view. For portrait style video, have the objects well lit with a contrasting background (bright or dark); upper torso shot is recommended (for fitness courses, the closer the better).
- Video length - we recommend your videos are between 2 and 20 minutes in length, but most video lectures fall within the 5-10 minute mark (the exact will vary based on your content).
- Type - keep files to a 1.0 GiB size limit, use .mp4, .mov, or. wmv format, and use widescreen 16:9 ratio (even though 4:3 is accepted).
- Connection - imagine you are speaking to someone as you record your video. Look directly into the camera to connect with your audience.
- Any camera works, from DSLR cameras, to Flip cameras, to Webcams (not typically recommended but make sure you test your webcam for a high quality picture.)
Screen Recording Software
- Camtasia Studio ($299) PC or MAC- Easy zoom and pan, most popular tool with instructors.
- Screenflow ($99) MAC only- Popular with our seasoned instructors on MACs
- CamStudio (free) PC only - Open source, includes Webcam integration
- Camtasia for Mac ($99) MAC only - very easy to use, most popular tool with instructors.
- Debut Video Capture (Free or $29) MAC or PC
- Front Cam ($30) PC
- iShowU ($20-69) MAC only
- Microsoft Expression (Free) PC only
- Screenr (Free or Premium) MAC or PC
- Quicktime (Free) MAC
- Jing (Free) MAC or PC
- Lighting can be created by using home lamps to buying actual kits. Consider softbox lighting.
- There are several ways you can create a presentation. Consider PowerPoint, Keynote, or Prezi.
Make sure you do a quick free trial for any of the recording software applications and see if it does what you are looking to achieve when teaching via video for your online course. Think about what your course goals are for a particular lesson, then decide how you want to teach online it via video. Try mapping out the educational experience first and then it'll be easier to know which tools you'll need in a software program.